Dec 4, 2011 - AV Club, Psychology    10 Comments

It’s Time to Play the Music: Reverb Broads 2011 #4

Reverb Broads 2011, December 4: In the movie version of your life, which actor/actress would play you and the significant players in your life? What kind of movie is it (e.g., made-for-TV, action, emo/indie, etc.)? What would be the major plot points, and how will it end? (courtesy of Emily at

As the song from the fantastic new Muppet movie might ask, “Am I a woman or a Muppet?”

Well, if I’m a woman, I’m a very Muppety woman.

To be fair, there isn’t any one Muppet whom I feel embodies me, but the great thing about Muppets is that they come out of a workshop. So let’s imagine one with Abby Cadabby’s hair and spell casting, Gonzo’s enthusiasm for the weird, Sam the Eagle’s pedantry, Muppet News Guy’s doomed truthtelling, and Kermit’s good intentions and frayed control over the unpredictable proceedings around him. I’ve even got my own slightly Muppety theme song now, thanks to Zooey Deschanel’s intro to New Girl.

Naturally, I’m married to Lew Zealand (fortunately, with fewer thrown fish). And I think my sons are Scooter and Animal, though like any brothers, there are definite shades of Bert and Ernie too.

My life tends to veer wildly between the clever and the wacky, the heartwarming and the hair-raising, the magical and the absurd, so that works too. I mean, come on: receiving a marriage proposal in flannel pajamas, when there’s a perfectly wonderful New Year’s celebration happening at an honest-to-gods Scottish castle, less than five miles away, is a very Muppety combination of the silly, the star-crossed, and the sentimental.

It’s not all a perfect fit, of course: I don’t think anyone really wants to see Muppet montages of me vomiting for seven and a half months straight during my pregnancies. There isn’t a song in the world that would make that watchable. But I’ve certainly earned the right to use “Movin’ Right Along” for the endless road trips in my childhood, or “Why Wouldn’t We Ride?” for all the travelling I did during my year in France.

I know you just think I’m still in the dizzy grip of ecstasy at the new Muppet movie, or I’ve spent too long in the company of kids to come up with a grown-up answer to this prompt. But like Jason Segel and Walter, I never stopped being a Muppet fan; I loved them with a passion even when the rest of the world had passed them by. That Kermit watch on Walter’s wrist? I wore that watch all through college, until it fell out of my school bag and got run over by a car. I still have the scraped, broken face in my desk. I got the Time-Life collection of The Muppet Show episodes for Christmas about a decade ago, before I was even a mom, and I used sketches to illustrate lessons in my university courses (much to the bemusement of my late ’80s-baby students). There’s a shirt on The Onion website that I’m pretty sure was targeted directly for me.

And sure, I have the same profile as Carrie Fisher (no, really, I totally do), and I have mannerisms that show up regularly in Drew Barrymore and Sandra Bullock movies, much to my husband’s amusement. And sure, I wish my life inspired something sweeping like a majestic fantasy epic, or a witty drawing-room comedy, or a sweet Nora Ephron romance. Hell, I’d settle for being the quirky feature in a one-off episode of Doctor Who quite happily.

But who am I kidding? I’d end up being the Ood who goes all red-eye at something my kids do.

No, just cover me in felt and stick a hand up my butt — I’ll be a Muppet ’til the day that I die. I just hope I end up looking more like Hilda than Waldorf.

Realistic expectations



    Loved your post…loved your encyclopaedic referencing of The Muppets! We’re so glad they’re back, too. Though, just like you, in our hearts they were never even gone. 🙂

    Thanks for taking on this prompt!

    • It was completely my pleasure — thanks for proposing it! At first, I was all groan-y and like, “Oh, *man*, there aren’t any movie stars as big or weird as me,” and as a committed reader, I get tired sometimes of all the casting discussions that endlessly revolve, especially among fantasy fans. But as soon as I figured out my Muppety truth, I got very happy, and it was all downhill from there. 🙂

  • Please, please, please, don’t be a red-eyed Ood. I find the Ood far more disturbing that either the headless monks or the angel statues. I think it’s the external brain. Anyway, thanks for a great post.

    • I get the brain thing. Squicky. But they sang Ten such a beautiful song…I start crying every time I get to that part of the episode (reality check: I’ve usually been crying for about 20 min by that time, to be honest). I’ll try not to be an Ood, but I make no promises — you haven’t met my kids… 🙂
      The scariness of the angels is all in the concept for me, and the filming; “Blink” is a masterpiece of validating paranoia, much like Hitchcock did with The Birds. The fact that they mess with you temporally is just an afterthought to the horror of them just *lurking*.

  • Aww, Jess. You are the best. I loved this post. Someday you’ll find it, the lovers, the dreamers, and you.

    • No fair, Andrea — you got me all choked up just by quoting that song. I’m such a goof.

  • YES! I love how you tied in the amazing new Muppet movie with your life. This was so much fun to read and now I’m thinking about how my life parallels the Muppets. I’m such a big fan, too–I know there are lots of similarities to be found if I thought for a bit.

    • I didn’t even have to work that hard to make the parallel! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Hilarious – I loved this post. And you are obviously a fan, as you can rattle of the different names so easily and know exactly who in your family would be which Muppet. And to be honest, of all the movie posts I’ve read so far, yours has been the easiest to picture.

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